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Lijah Hanley, a member of the 2009 Hands-On Explorer Challenge expedition to Peru, has won the grand prize in the National Geographic Student Expeditions Photo Contest! His love for photography began before he entered the 2009 contest, and he has continued to learn and grow as a photographer since the Peru expedition.
Lijah’s winning photo, called “No Boundaries,” can be seen above. “There is nothing more thrilling than taking the car out on the road and exploring new places. Unfortunately, being a new driver, my parents have set a lot of boundaries that limit how far I can go. I made it as far as the Columbia River Gorge, and it was a perfect crisp clear night for stargazing. So we removed the top of our car, sat on the roof, and gazed into the endless universe. Exploration is not bound by how far your car can take you, but by how far your imagination can take you into the stars,” Lijah says.